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SWWASAS, April 22, 2015 in In the Field
Good luck Bigtreewalker! If you find a BF body and need to haul it out, you know who to call.
Good Luck! BTW. Take a few pictures, we love pictures.
Did some hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday. I take my hat off to anyone doing BF research in the Rockies. The altitude takes some getting used to. I was close to 10,000 feet and really huffing and puffing.
Where abouts was you Randy ?
And good luck, enjoy and stay safe BT..
Above Bear Lake there is a string of lakes. Got up into there. So many people around but I noticed some game trails with both hooved and soft footed something's coming down to water. BF may be up there but. that is a tough environment for a researcher. My hiking partner got altitude sickness and passed out twice on me. Hike turned into a medical emergency recovery. It is equivalent to doing research at the top of Mt Hood.
Randy, hope you're doing well and your hiking partner has recovered.
Just got back this weekend from our hunting trip in the GPNF. No luck but had a great time. Something occurred one day while out hunting which was kind of strange.
We were using cow elk calls to see if we could bring in any bulls, since they weren't bugling at all. We were on a hill that had about a hundred yard wide strip of old growth running from the bottom to the top. Bounded by about 20 year old reprod on one side and steep drop-offs on the other side. When we started we had one elk come up toward us from the bottom. (Anyone who is familiar with elk know they can be noisy at times, breaking branches as they move. You can hear them coming from a long ways off.) Anyway, shortly after the one started up from below us I heard another one coming down from up the hill. My hunting partner switched sides of the tree he was sitting by so he could see what was coming down above us. The problem was that he could only see about 70 yards up the hill because of some small trees under the big ones. The lower animal held up below us and wouldn't come any further up the hill. The one above kept coming breaking branches along the way. It stopped on the other side of the small trees so we couldn't see it. I found out later it could see my hunting partner however. Then we heard two very loud knocks that startled the squirrels in the area and echoed through the woods. Then total silence. I guess you can imagine what I thought. But, what was really interesting was what my partner thought. He walked over to me after total silence for a while and said, "What the heck was that?" I ask him what he thought it was. He just said "Bigfoot!?" I told him, I don't know, but it was definitely weird. We went up and looked around but whatever had made the noise had very quietly left the area. We found one fresher elk track in some moss off to the side of where we last heard it. The only explanation we could come up for the knocks was a bull elk snapping its antler tines under a big horizontal branch. Of which there were none in the area. Neither of us had heard an elk make that kind of noise before. Tear up brush and break branches yes but not distinct knocks. So it was a mystery to us. If anyone else has heard an elk make knocks with its antlers, please let me know.
thanks BTW. Great story. I doubt an Elk would have left the area quietly, most likely would have plowed the woods on its way outta there!
Just speculating we came up with the thought that bigfoot was looking for an elk dinner and discovered it was us and let us know what it thought of that!
The interesting thing is that this is less than one mile from EK #2 in our research paper. Which I did stop by later. Nothing much had changed since we found it last year. Collected another rib bone with some more impressions on it that I had missed last time. Haven't had much time to analyze it yet.
Took a lot of photos while out there. I'll try to get some posted later.
Good to hear and want to see them. . Yesterday I revisited the sites of some of my encounters. I was using the big wheeled bike and it is surprising how much ground you can cover during a day trip. Went by the NEON site and it is till there. Not much change. Anyway no sign of any recent activity, but the exact spot of my chest thumping encounter in the Cold Creek area had something interesting when I stopped there. Marked on two trees, right at the exact spot was blue spray paint on trees with the letters FU. No sign of forest service ribbons or anything they normally leave for marking trees for logging. No designated timber sales signs either. I wondered at the time if someone from the BFRO had been there since I gave them the exact location in a sighting report. I think it strange that the trees would be marked like that without the other indicators that go with marking logging tracts. Another little observation to ponder among the many.
Had an experience yesterday worthy of note near the Oregon Coast range. Was riding the Banks / Vernonia trail on a bicycle. Wooded along most of the 23 mile route. A sign near the Banks end warned of a recent cougar sighting. So when doing the trail always on the watch for BF. Had lunch in Vernonia and about 7 miles from Banks headed back to my truck, heard a commotion on the ridge above so stopped to listen. Sounded like classic Sameri chatter and went on for over 5 minutes. So I figured it was a juvenile BF acting up. But it was a raven putting on a real show in the trees. Making all sorts of very non birdlike sounds, with lots of thrashing around, and cackling sounds. Finally it stopped the strange sounds and got into cawing. Made me wonder how many Sameri chatter reports are really Ravens. If I remember right Ravens are capable of imitation of human speech. This one really put on a show.
Astute observation, and true from my experience as well. They are remarkable birds, and their mimicry and intelligence is legendary.
I wonder if putting on a show like that is part of a male mating ritual to impress a female. Sort of like a male turkey fanning display trying to impress a female. It sure was moving about in the tree and shaking it. Could have been two of them in the tree. I still looked carefully at the tree but had to have been a raven because something larger would have been visible silhouetted against the sky in the background.
Ravens are almost as good as Barred Owls at making odd noises. Cackle, croak, gurgle, huff with their wings, talk to themselves. I always try to be aware of ravens in any area I am in. They are always busy and seem to keep an eye on almost everything that goes on in the forest.
Took my Farley fat tired bike into the bush yesterday. North of Jax Mountain in the GPNF. It makes penetration deep away from drivable roads very easy. Pretty much doubles or triples your range on a day trip. But that is a problem in these short days. I got way in further than I ever have and then had to consider getting a flat tire and not getting out before dark. Nothing noted but a skunk smell in one area. But suspect since a creek was there it was mature skunk cabbage. The climbs are still work but cruising down hill is fun.